The "Under the Dome" blog at the Raleigh News and Observer posted the following piece, Democrats lead early voting; Republicans think they're winning the race, which seems to say Democrats are on pace to repeat their early voting success from 2008 which put the state in President Obama's column. During that election the Obama campaign enjoyed a 300k lead after early voting on their way to a razor thin final margin of just 14k.
This appears to be an oversimplification of what's going on so far.
After 9 days of early voting in 2008 Democrats had cast 117,239 more votes than Republicans and Independents combined. This year Republicans and Independents have cast 5406 more combined votes than the Democrats. So, while the Democrats still enjoy a sizable lead in partisan votes when compared only to Republicans, it seems highly unlikely that President Obama is going to enjoy the same 300k vote lead he had going into election day in 2008.
If you are on Twitter, Dr Michael Bitzer is posting tons of daily stats @CatawbaPolitics.
Here are some from today...
Dem Turnout by Day vs 2008
Rep Turnout by Day vs 2008
Una Turnout by Day vs 2008
One thing to notice, Democratic turnout appears to have flatlined at the beginning of last week when compared to 2008. Republican turnout has continued to be higher on a daily basis through Friday, 10/26, than in 2008. That shows good Republican momentum going into week two.
As for North Mecklenburg, Republicans seem to be doing their part in closing this gap. Here are the vote totals for Huntersville, Cornelius, and Davidson.
Notice, even Davidson with it's college town atmosphere is bringing out more Republicans than anyone else so far this election. In both Huntersville and Davidson Republican early voting reverses what had been strong Democratic leads at this point in 2008. In Cornelius, the Republican advatage has gotten significantly larger this cycle.
My guess is the huge amount of work done by the North Mecklenburg Republican Women and other activists has more than a little to do with those changes.
Update: Here's a similar story about early voting numbers in all-important Ohio